33 years later, Durham police make arrest in sexual assault cold case

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Friday, June 23, 2023
Durham rape cold case arrest
Durham rape cold case arrest

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- Durham police arrested and charged a man in connection with a cold case from 1990.

Investigators said 56-year-old Samuel Harris was charged with two counts of first-degree rape and three counts of first-degree sex offense.

On August 1, 1990, a woman reported that a man forced his way into her car in a parking lot near Morris Street and West Corporation Street and told her to drive to different locations where he sexually assaulted her multiple times.

Nearly 33 years later, police were able to link Harris to the case using the Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) when his DNA matched evidence from the sexual assault kit from the case.

Harris was taken into custody on June 13. He is being held in the Durham County Jail under a $100,000 bond.

RELATED | 2 convicted in Durham sexual assault kit initiative cases; 1 case dates back to 2005

Anyone with further information is asked to call Investigator H. Brown at (919) 560-4440, ext. 29461 or CrimeStoppers at (919) 683-1200. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards of up to $2,000 for information leading to arrests in felony cases and callers never have to identify themselves.

ABC11 is tracking crime and safety across Durham, Raleigh and in your neighborhood

WATCH | NC continues to clear its rape kit backlog but challenges remain

The new initiative has added resources to test the more than 1,700 untested sexual assault kits in Durham.